Sorry folks, this squash does not involve rackets and a small very hard ball traveling at high speed against a wall. Nope. I am talking about the vegetable that no one eats. People and vegetables seem to have a rocky relationship. At the mere mention of Broccoli or Cabbage my wife suddenly transforms into an Olympic sprinter. It is unfair of me, but if we are in the grocery store I always point out the Broccoli and cabbage. She hunches over the shopping cart and high tails it to the safer area selling Melons and Strawberries.

I like to try everything I encounter. I don’t like everything, but I can say I have tried it. Living in the deep south Crawfish are a delicacy, I view them as too much work for too little gain, but I just love the small red potatoes that they are boiled with!

So lets talk squash! There are hundreds of varieties, Zucchini is the one most people are familiar with. I have never met anyone that has declared that it is their favorite veg, but it does well in restaurants. It is cheap and plentiful. Oh and it has almost no flavor so you can make it taste how you wish. The Zucchinis dad is the British Marrow. It looks like a slightly elongated water melon. It has no taste, so the best way to deal with it is to slice it horizontally, scoop the seeds out and ‘stuff’ it with ground beef and something vaguely Italian, tomato paste, oregano and some sort of cheese, even something icky from Wisconsin would work.

OK back to the story. A couple days ago my Father In Law asked me if I would like one of the ripe squash in his garden. Of course I said yes. I selected the smallest one, it was green, about a foot long and looked like a cucumber that had been fed too many Big Macs.

“Oh my Gourd, what should I do”?

Well when it comes to cooking I am a raving nut case. I tried a small taste of it, and as suspected, on a scale of 1 to 10 for flavor, it scored about minus several million. Like every squash known to man, it had the flavor profile of a glass of tap water.

It would have been easy to throw it a soup and be done with it. But NO, I was not going to beaten by a squash. Even though this was a small one, it had a pretty thick skin. I dumped it! So now I have my naked squash. Part of my brain was saying chop it, dice it, boil it, and be done. I didn’t like that solution. Any fool could do that, I like to be my own fool, it makes me feel better.

So slice up the squash as if you were making fried green tomatoes. 1/4 to 1/3 inch. Dump them in a bowl. I added about a half cup of boring low fat milk, well it was all I could find in the refrigerator. I spotted a bottle of hot sauce and gave it few good splats. Salt and pepper and I declared victory over the squash.

In a second bowl, some boring old flour, Salt, Pepper and Parsley flakes (note to self, next time add some garlic powder).

Coat the squash slices with the flour and fry in the fry pan that you have preheated and has 3 tablespoons of oil in it. 2 Mins turn them over, 2 mins and you are done!

The result was quite good. But the next time I make it I am going to add a lot more spices.

Simon Barrett – conquering the world one squash at a time

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